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Microsoft Flight Simulator Saitek X56 Compatibility Issue & Missing Stream Content (2 Issues)

24-Oct-20 05:00 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Microsoft Flight Simulator released gobally back in mid-August to generally positive initial reviews. Funtionality seemed initially sound and my Saitek X52 Pro HOTAS worked perfectly. This continued into early October — when Asobo Studio (the game’s developer, under contract with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios) suddenly stopped working on my PC. In the following days and weeks, I decended into a netherworld of support fixes, articles, drivers and other nitemarish tech support imagery and even XML configuration files with GUIDs and everything; all to no avail. That is until, I finally decided to abandon my efforts to rely on my Saitek X52 and instead upgrade to the Logitech/Saitek X56.

A Costly Endeavour

Thus began my search online for a new X56. Thanks to the COVID-19 virus which plagued our beloved planet throughout the 2020 gaming season, supplies of “stay-at-home” hardware in computer tech had dried up somewhat. For specialty gaming items as HOTAS controllers (like the X56 in particular) it was all but impossible to find a reliable supplier. After wrangling with a non-delivered package and laying out nearly $1,000 (CDN) I eventually obtained my X56 at a premium by visiting the US Aamazon sales website (https://amazon.com) and ordering it directly from Logitech (which is an Amazon-recognized seller).

Getting the New Hardware to Work

So I’d had to wait several weeks for it to arrive, but when it finally did, initially, it didn’t seem to help matters. I started repeating the troubleshooting tips I’d used with the X52 to no avail. Shockingly, these same steps actually worked with the newly-procured X56. (Click here for the details.)

A New Problem Erupts: Missing Content!

Satisfied everything was now set to go, I proceeded to load Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, confident I’d found all the answers I need. And then I found out as I soon as went to fly anywhere my range seemed rather short. It turns out I was confined to the range of either of the 2 starter package aircraft, the Cessna 152 or the Beechwood King Air 350i. What was going on?

Well it seems that when I initially had downloaded the Premium Delxue edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 from Steam, the loading software (the Steam client) had installed the full Premium Deluxe content. But in one of my earlier troubleshooting steps, I’d decided to try re-installing the entire game and now none of the content being sent to me via Steam included the extra content. As a new Flight Simulator 2020 user, I’d never used the Marketplace tab witihin the game which actually brokers this content once it gets uninstalled for any reason. As such the remainder of my content would have to be downloaded separately from Marketplace.

With all the missing content downloaded, and the hardware successfully re-installed my technical support nightmare was over. This was not aided by Steam support who’d I’d mailed about the issue in any way. Steam would be infintely better-off at least advising customers that missing Deluxe and Premium Deluxe content could be downloaded directly from Microsoft using the Marketplace with a message dialog (at least) — it’s not something Flight Simulator 2020 users are necessarily aware of when they buy the complete product and install it for the first time through their service. Indeed, it only serves to lengthier support engagements via e-mail a general confusion all-around.

There is no expectation here that Steam even needs to support DLCs in a general way by maintaining the inventory of all client software and associated downloadable content. Just a dialogue for this one title and its millions of users worldwide.

Conclusion

This article is intended as helpful content for users who encountered the same X52 Pro issue I did and also for those who’ve got themselves an X56. Should the latter fail following some future update, it would be my approach to first repeat the steps above to resolve any and all issues. That said, I’m hoping something like this doesn’t happen and that Ascobo will start conducting proper QA in their software development practices against all intended supported hardware with the latest updates to Windows 10 deployed (at minimum). It seems clear this was not done where the X52 is concerned and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it could leave users who’ve invested onerous sums in hardware in software without a solution otherwise. In my view, at speaking as a professional software developer, this would amount to bad practice and questionable professionalism.

I would invite you if you have comments or opinions on this article to share it with others since documentation online seemed lacking. I will try to answer questions dilligently, as time allows.

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